Launched in March 2008, the new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system provides Lagos commuters with a clean, affordable, and reliable means of getting around in the city. The BRT is a bus-based mass transit system that delivers fast, comfortable, and cost-effective service.
Like nearly every other public infrastructure in modern Lagos, it was conceived and conceptualized by the Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu administration. Before leaving Office, he had keenly observed the chaotic transport system in the state.
The flagrant disregard for traffic rules led to the creation of LASTMA, however, the new parastatal was a window into the cluttered world that is road transport in Lagos. Bola Ahmed Tinubu had to think of a forward-leaning approach as touching transport in Lagos State.
As was his way, he assembled a team of consultants who worked on the problem, poked holes in each other ideas, and brought the top viable options to the then governor. The idea that got the nod was inter-area commuter buses.
He took the state from one where shared transportation was
predominantly provided by a fleet of 75,000 privately operated minibus services
(danfos) together with a smaller number of midi-buses (molue), tricycles
popularly known as keke napep, motorcycle (Okada), and shared-taxis to one that would host the first inter-City busing system in all of the country and West Africa then.
Launched in 2008, the BRT initiative was lauded by several organizations. The World Bank in a glowing review wrote of the initiative;
“… Aimed at improving citizens’ quality of life, economic efficiency, and safety within a clearly defined budget. More broadly, the evaluation declared the scheme an unprecedented success. The critical success factors were defined as a significant and consistent political commitment, the presence and abilities of a strategic public transport authority in LAMATA (Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority), a scheme definition that concentrates on essential user needs and deliverability within a budget, and program, the work undertaken to engage key stakeholders and ensure that they benefit, and a community engagement program that has worked to assure Lagosians that the BRT-Lite system is a community project created, owned, and used by them.”